NAFDAC Clarifies Issues of Rice distributed in Oyo

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The Director-General of the National Agency for Food Drugs and Administration Control (NAFDAC), Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, has said her agency was not invited to test the rice given to Oyo State by the Federal Government.

She said her agency was only invited to take samples of rice from Idi-Iroko, Ikeja and Ogun State.

One thousand eight hundred bags of rice were distributed to Oyo State as part of the Federal Government’s effort to cushion the impact of lockdown on the poor and vulnerable.

Oyo State Government, however, alleged that the bags of rice it got were infested with weevils and unfit for human consumption.

The state also said plans were in place to return the bags of rice, but the Federal Government on Monday claimed that the rice was certified fit by NAFDAC before they were distributed to states.

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Farouq, said: “As you may recall, we mentioned here that we distributed the rice relief to the states. The rice was handed over to us by the Nigerian Customs Service and it was assessed by NAFDAC, who issued a clearance before the goods were released for onward distribution to the states.

“So, as far as we are concerned, the rice was certified fit for human consumption.”

Reacting to the claims by the minister, Prof. Adeyeye, who spoke during a live evening television programme monitored by The Nation, said her agency was not invited to take samples of rice from Oyo State for testing.

The NAFDAC boss said: “We got an invitation to sample rice from Idi-Iroko in Ogun State and Ikeja Customs. Our officials went to Idi- Iroko to sample the rice and they also went to Ikeja in Lagos State to sample rice. Some of the samples are still at our laboratory in Oshodi. We tested the samples and they passed.

“The one for Oyo State, I cannot say anything because NAFDAC was not called by the Ibadan Command or the Southwest Command of Customs to come and check samples in Ibadan. So, I cannot say anything about the Ibadan Command rice that went to Oyo and possibly to Osun State.”

Lara Olaniyi